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The Amulet of Samarkand (2003)

by Jonathan Stroud

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bartimaeus Sequence (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,902241836 (4.03)341
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.
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» See also 341 mentions

English (227)  German (8)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Vietnamese (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (241)
Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)
Ich fande das Buch unterhaltsam. Aber es ist auf jeden Fall ein Jugendbuch. Im Fokus steht die Reise von Nathanael und Bartimäus und deren Beziehung. Leider erfährt man jedoch wenig über das Magiesystem und die Welt in der wir uns befinden. ( )
  jabumble | Sep 4, 2021 |
And then, as if written by the hand of a bad novelist, an incredible thing happened.

[b:The Amulet of Samarkand|334123|The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1)|Jonathan Stroud|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1528705815s/334123.jpg|1121748] is a fun book. It feels someone like a grittier Harry Potter, where instead of the bright and shiny flick of a wand, you summon demons. Instead of a fantastic hidden castle in the woods, you have Arthur Underwood--imagine if Harry was tutored throughout his magical career by a slightly more competent Vernon Dursley. And instead of a dark wizard coming to kill you because of an accident of your birth... well, Nathaniel does a pretty good job of bringing trouble down upon his own head.

That being said, it's actually a fun read--so long as you enjoy a rather snarky sense of humor. In particular, the counterpoint between Nathaniel (eleven year old magician in training, sound familiar?) and Bartimaeus (a relatively powerful djinni he summons to assist him in all manners of trouble) is pretty interesting.

The writing style is different enough that you can always remember whose head you're in. The sheer amount of snark coming out of Bartimaeus directed towards his current master is amusing, especially when you start to get the feeling that the former may actually feel a bit protective of the former. Bartimaeus really is going to be the reason you either love or hate this book.

One thing that I did particularly enjoy about the book was the magic system. The idea is that magicians can do a bit on their own, but most of their power comes from the 'demons' they summon--the more power you want, the more powerful / risky species of demon you have to summon. Seems fairly solid.

That did it. I'd gone through a lot in the past few days. Everyone I met seemed to want a piece of me: djinn, magicians, humans...it made no difference.I'd been summoned, manhandled, shot at, captured, constricted, bossed about and generally taken for granted. And now, to cap it all, this bloke is joining in too, when all I'd been doing was quietly trying to kill him. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
All I think about is how the flaw of the main character made an impact to the turn of events in the story. ( )
  DzejnCrvena | Apr 2, 2021 |
In an alternate modern day London a young boy, Nathaniel is busy summoning what he would call a demon. Bartimaeus, the being summoned prefers the term djinni (genie), but he’d actually prefer not to be summoned at all. He’ll do anything he can to free himself from his master’s control. Especially when he learns that Nathaniel wants him to steal a very valuable amulet from a powerful amulet. But if Nathaniel remains careful and keeps to the rules then Bartimaeus must obey or face punishment and pain. Obeying also has its own worries, the guardians and security around the amulet. Not to mention the fact that the other djinn might learn that his master is all of eleven years old. Slightly embarrassing when you are a 5,000 year old djinni.

Full review: http://www.susanhatedliterature.net/2006/08/30/the-amulet-of-samarkand/ ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
I very much enjoyed this book--I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator had the most wonderful voice. The character of Bartimaeus was the chief joy of the book for me--arrogant and cheeky and sly, as a demon should be, with a personality as big as his notion of his own wonderfulness. I didn't like the main human character, Nathaniel, as much, but have hopes that he might improve (that is, become less whiny and self-pitying) in later books. ( )
  sdramsey | Dec 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 227 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Stroudprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grant, MelvynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all: summoning the all-powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt.
Haiku summary
Wizards rule England
with help of pouting demons.
Man, they're sarcastic.

A young magician
and his mischievous djinni
foil conspiracy.

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